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Next Article: What’s Growing in the Garden

Add Sunflowers to Your Garden


Date Posted: June 21, 2016

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener Add Sunflowers to Your Garden
photo credit: Mike the Gardener

There are a countless number of varieties of sunflowers that you can grow at home. Sunflowers have a wide range of sizes and colors, and because you can find a variety that can grow in either a garden bed or container, they are perfect for various landscaping projects. Along with the aesthetics of sunflowers, the varieties I have been growing, attract tons of bees, and that is a good thing for my garden.

Where to Add Sunflowers in the Garden

When you put together your garden plan, be sure to include an area that will accommodate the variety of sunflower that you are choosing to grow. In most seasons I plant them on the perimeter of the garden beds. This year I decided, ok actually my son decided without me knowing, that there would be an entire row of sunflowers directly in the garden. Not that it was a big deal. I was more happy to see him take initiative and plant something. Either location works fine for attracting pollinators, but if you are going for a more structured landscaping look, the perimeter option is better. You can also grow your sunflowers in containers. This way you can move them around to any location that you would like. Smaller varieties grow much better in containers than do the larger ones.

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Add Sunflowers to Your Garden

Which Variety of Sunflower Should You Grow

I like to grow the larger varieties such as the Mammoth Grey. They grow to be about six to eight feet tall and have large heads on them that produce loads of sunflower seeds. I have grown various smaller varieties, think Autumn Beauty, in the past, and when I do, I like to spread them out along the perimeter every 2 to 3 feet.

How Should I Start My Sunflowers

While there is nothing wrong with purchasing existing sunflower plants from a garden nursery, I enjoy starting them directly in the ground from seeds. If you plan on growing a lot of sunflowers, you will save a lot of money going with this method. Direct sow your sunflower seeds when the fear of frost has passed in your area.

Add Sunflowers to Your Garden

What Kind of Soil Do You Need for Sunflowers

A good friable soil rich in compost will do. I have done well with sunflowers in just about any soil condition but have found when I mix in plenty of compost, they do really well. This is true for all varieties of sunflowers that I have grown. Just make sure your soil has good drainage and, as noted before, is friable. Many varieties of sunflowers have large root structures and a friable soil makes it easier for that structure to grow.

Add Sunflowers to Your Garden

Caring for Your Sunflowers

Frequent watering while the sunflowers are small then switch to infrequent deep watering methods when they mature. You want your sunflowers to really reach for that water source with their root system and infrequent watering will achieve this. While many other plants need regular feedings with fertilizer, I never use any on the sunflowers. I have read that over fertilizing sunflowers can lead to stem breakage. Although I have not experienced that myself, I was not to anxious to find out if it were true.

Happy gardening!


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Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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If you want to learn more about Growing Sunflowers, check out these titles below:


KEYWORDS:

growth sunflower, how to grow sunflower sprouts, grow sunflower greens, grow sunflower in pots, grow sunflower sprouts without soil, grow sunflower in container



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